"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV
Today is Valentine's Day, and on this day millions of people will go out of their way to find the perfect Valentine to let their friends and family know how much they love them. Cards, flowers, chocolates, stuffed animals, fancy dinners - the list goes on and on. Many parents have assisted their children in making that very special box and preparing all of those little Valentine's cards that they will share with their friends.
Shouldn't loving others be simpler than all of this fuss? Do we really have to work so hard? While we would like to think that love is always easy and comes so naturally, it may be a little more than that.
Take a look at the Bible reading for today. It lists the many things that love is. When I first read this verse, I get a warm bubbly feeling, like I'm a princess in a fairytale land. Hearts flutter around me, while birds sing a sweet tune. Everyone is patient, kind, understanding, unselfish, honest, and it just seems so simple.
Then, I read it again, and my bubble starts to burst. Yes love is patient, and that is not how I was this morning with my family as we were late heading out the door. Love is kind, but I was not very kind when the juice was spilled on the carpet. Love does not envy, so I should probably stop wishing that I had the energy of my 10 year old. Oh no, I'm 0 for 3 on a list that has only just begun and as I continue reading, I know that it doesn't get any better. So much for me being that perfect Valentine.
Because of sin, love is not so easy. Because of sin, our love is not perfect. However, that doesn't mean a perfect love doesn't exist.
1 John 4:16 tells us "God is love." We many not always show love the way we should, but God does. In fact, God not only shows us His love, He is love. Take a look at our Bible reading again. It is not just describing how we can show others we love them. It is describing who God is. Remember, "God is love." That means that God IS all of those things described in our reading. His love for us never ends. His love for us is perfect. God demonstrated the extent of that never ending, perfect love for us when He sent His Son, Jesus, to the cross to be our Savior and His love lives in our hearts. Jesus is the perfect Valentine!
As you spend today celebrating Valentine's Day with your children, remember to share the love in your hearts with them. Share the love of God sent to us through His Son Jesus and praise God for His perfect Valentine!
Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus, to be our perfect Valentine. Help us to share this special Valentine with our children and all those we meet today. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.